Blog: Speaker gets reminded who makes the budget

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House of Delegates Speaker Mike Busch

At the Board of Public Works Wednesday, prior to the annual Hope-A-Thon (formerly known as the Beg-A-Thon) for school construction funds, Gov. Martin O’Malley called House Speaker Michael Busch to the podium.

Busch was on hand to support the awarding of contracts for the $9.9 million renovation of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the Lowe House Office Building.

“We’re very grateful that [Budget] Secretary Foster put the money in the budget,” the speaker said.

O’Malley interrupted him.

“Actually, I put the money in the budget,” said the governor.

Oops. The speaker looked momentarily embarrassed, obviously a man that very well knows who really giveth and who taketh away in Annapolis.

He profusely thanked the governor, bowing to him, and O’Malley tried to smooth things over, by saying of Foster, “She’s a hard person to work for.”

“Thanks again for my faux pas,” Busch said in closing. Who knew he spoke French?

Busch communications director Alex Hughes said the contracts were initially going to be spread over several years, but officials decided to take advantage of low contracting costs at this time.

The renovations of the building include hazmat abatement, new ceilings, lighting, sprinkler systems, fire alarms, flooring, bathroom, correcting safety code problems, replacements of roofs, gutters and downspouts, as well as mechanical and electrical upgrades.

–Len Lazarick